Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., June 9, 2006
This World We Live In (Dualtone)
Since going solo in 1992, Radney Foster has been remarkably consistent at making albums filled with high quality roots rock and Texas-style country. This World We Live In, his fifth studio work, is no big leap for the Del Rio native, but it's nearly as satisfying as anything he's ever done. This time out, Foster's joined by two members of Keith Richards' X-pensive Winos, guitarist Waddy Wachtel and drummer Charlie Drayton, plus respected bass player Bob Glaub, who's worked with Jackson Browne; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; and Warren Zevon. They add grit to set-opening riff rocker "Drunk on Love" and rough-and-tumble twang to "Big Idea." On the down side, Foster dwells on relationships, using the "L" word too many times to count, and as an accomplished singer-songwriter he's got a few interesting turns of phrase, but fans know from previous releases that he's capable of writing about other experiences. Which is one reason that the last song, "Never Gonna Fly," stands apart. Co-written with Jack Ingram, it's advice "You're never gonna fly if you're afraid to fall" can be interpreted many ways and its lilting melody reinforces the thoughtful message.